6846. And He said, I am the God of thy father. That this signifies the Divine which was of the Ancient Church, is evident from the signification of "father," as being the Ancient Church (see n. 6075). The Ancient Church is called "father" because from it were born the churches which came after it, namely, the Hebrew Church, and afterward the church that was among the posterity of Jacob. For the rites and statutes which were commanded to the posterity of Jacob through Moses, were not new, but had previously existed in the ancient churches, and were only restored among the sons of Jacob. They were restored because with other nations they had become idolatrous, and in Egypt and in Babel had been turned into magic. That these rites and statutes existed in the ancient churches, can be seen from many passages in the Word. Hence then it is that the Ancient Church is meant by "father," and is also called "father" in the Word where the church is treated of. The God who was worshiped in the Ancient Church was the Lord as to the Divine Human, and it was known to them that it was the Lord who was represented in every rite of their church; and many of them also knew that the Lord was to come into the world, and was to make the Human in Himself Divine. Nor in that church was any other meant by Jehovah, for He had appeared to them as a Divine Man, and was called "Jehovah" (n. 1343, 5663), as also afterward to Abraham (Gen. 18:2), to Joshua (Josh. 5:13-15), to Gideon (Judges 6:11), and to Manoah and his wife (Judges 13:3). And He was acknowledged as the God of the universe, and the Only One whom they should adore. Hence then it is that by "the God of thy father," is meant in the internal sense the Divine which was of the Ancient Church, that is, the Lord; but in the external historic sense there is meant Abraham, and also Isaac and Jacob.